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Malala Yousafzai with her portrait “Malala Yousafzai” by Shirin Neshat (2018) at the National Portrait Gallery, London (photo by Jorge Herrera, image courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, London)

The National Portrait Gallery in London has commissioned a portrait of activist Malala Yousafzai. The portrait, currently on public display, was done by Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat and was commissioned with funds from Outset Contemporary Art Fund. “I am honored to have my portrait included in the National Portrait Gallery alongside some of Britain’s most influential writers, artists, and leaders,” said Yousafzai. “I hope it will remind visitors that girls everywhere are fighting for change in their communities and countries — their stories must also be heard.”

Ai Weiwei, “Iron Tree Trunk” (2015), cast iron, 185 x 63 x 82 5/8 inches, edition 1 of 3, installation view, (collection of The Contemporary Austin, artwork © Ai Weiwei Studio, image courtesy The Contemporary Austin, photo by Brian Fitzsimmons)

The Contemporary Austin has secured funds to acquire Ai Weiwei’s sculpture “Iron Tree Trunk” (2015). The sculpture was installed in 2017 among the trees at the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria, and now a challenge grant from the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation that included gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors has made the acquisition possible.

Edward Steichen, “Gloria Swanson” (1924) (image courtesy the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has acquired the Howard Greenberg Collection of Photographs, funded by a gift from the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Charitable Trust. The collection, compiled over the course of 35 years, consists of 447 photographs by 191 artists. Included in those photographs are “rare prints of modernist masterpieces and mid-20th century classics,” according to the press release. An exhibition of photographs from the collection will open on August 11, 2019, remaining on view through December 16, 2019. “I am truly thrilled and delighted to have the MFA as the recipient of my personal collection of photographs,” said Greenberg. “ … My collection will be an important addition in that it completes certain aspects of mid-20th-century photography, and improves what already exists, including the period between the wars.”

“Seated Lady Smoking a Hookah” (c. 1780), Northern India, Himachal Pradesh, Pahari Kingdom of Guler, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 12 11/16 x 10 inches (purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund; image courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art)

The Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) have acquired over 200 Rajput and Pahari paintings from the Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Ralph Benkaim Collection to be divided between the two public museums. The paintings were acquired through a gift/purchase by Catherine Glynn Benkaim and her partner Barbara Timmer. The collection is part of a subset of paintings that were made for royal patrons in the Rajput kingdoms of India.

The Scottish Maritime Museum has acquired John Bellany’s painting “The Boat Builders” with £95,000 (~$109,000) from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), £90,000 (~$104,000) from the Art Fund, and £15,000 (~$17,000) from the National Fund for Acquisitions. “The Boat Builders” will go on display in the Scottish Maritime Museum’s exhibition Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation, which closes on October 21. Afterwards, the painting will remain on view until the end of March, at which point it will undergo conservation work before becoming a part of the permanent display.

A US couple, Bruce and Robbi Toll, who loaned an Impressionist piece by Camille Pissaro to the Marmottan Museum in Paris in 2017 have been told that they will not be getting it back because it was looted from a Jewish family during the World War II occupation of Paris. A Paris court ordered the Tolls to relinquish the painting, titled “La Cueillette des Pois [Picking Peas]” (1887), which they bought from Christie’s in New York in 1995 for $800,000. The painting was owned by Simon Bauer, a Jewish businessman who had 93 paintings seized by the Vichy government. The painting was on display in a Pissarro retrospective at the Marmottan Museum when it was spotted by Bauer’s grandson, Jean-Jacques Bauer, who has been tracking down his grandfather’s missing paintings for the past 50 years. The painting is now worth about $1.75 million. Bruce Toll co-founded the US luxury homebuilder company Toll Brothers.

Sonia Boyce, “The Audition” (1997, printed 2018), black & white photographs mounted on aluminum, dimensions variable (image courtesy the Tate)

The Tate collection has acquired the following works through the 2018 Frieze Tate Fund: Sonia Boyce’s “The Audition” (1997), Giorgio Griffa’s “Rose e grigio” (1969), Claudette Johnson’s “Standing Figure with African Masks” (2018), and Johanna Unzueta’s “April, May 2016 NY” (2016). “The Frieze Tate Fund has made an important contribution to the national collection of contemporary art at Tate,” said Maria Balshaw, director of the Tate. “We are once again excited to be able to select work from Frieze so that a broad public at Tate can experience new art as it emerges.” [via email announcement]

Yayoi Kusama, “Butterfly” (1982), acrylic on canvas, 14 7/8 x 17 7/8 inches (image courtesy Phillips)

Phillips’s New Now auction in New York brought in a total of $6,371,250 on September 26. The sale’s top lot, Yayoi Kusama’sButterfly” (1982), sold for $375,000.

Richard Diebenkorn, “Untitled (Ocean Park)” (1971), acrylic, gouache, and charcoal on two joined sheets of paper, 29 x 23 inches (image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2018)

Christie’s Rooms as Portraits: Michael S. Smith and A Tale of Two Cities sale in New York and Los Angeles brought in a total of $3,273,000 on September 26. The sale’s top lot, Richard Diebenkorn’sUntitled (Ocean Park)” (1971), sold for $348,500.

Richard Serra, “Hreppholar III & VIII, from: Afangar Icelandic Series” (1991) (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Contemporary Edition online sale brought in a total of £745,625 (~$968,000) from September 14–26. The sale’s top lot, Richard Serra’sHreppholar III & VIII, from: Afangar Icelandic Series” (1991), sold for £52,500 (~$68,000).

Henri Michaux, “Trois Grandes Tâches, Passion Végétale [2 Oeuvres]” (1954-55), India ink on paper (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Alias Daniel Cordier Paris online sale brought in a total of €554,000 (~$640,000) from September 24–October 1. The sale’s top lot, Henri Michaux’sTrois Grandes Tâches, Passion Végétale [2 Oeuvres]” (1954–55), sold for €47,500 (~$55,000).

Pablo Picasso, “Gros Oiseau Picasso” (1953), partially painted, with the Edition Picasso and Madoura stamps, height: 22 1/8 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s London sale of Important Picasso Ceramics online brought in a total of £1,343,500 (~$1,743,000) on September 28. The sale’s top lot, Pablo Picasso’s ceramic vase, “Gros Oiseau Picasso A.R. 185” (1953), sold for £112,500 (~$146,000).

Andy Warhol, “The Scream (After Munch)” (1984), screenprint in a unique combination of colors, 40 x 32 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Prints & Multiples in London brought in a total of £4,393,688 (~$5,700,000) on September 26. The sale’s top lot, Andy Warhol’sThe Scream (After Munch)” (1984), sold for £382,000 (~$496,000).

Simon Hantaï, “Untitled (Double Sided)” (c. 1969; 1973), oil on canvas (one side), acrylic on canvas (other side), 46 7/8 x 37 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Alias Daniel Cordier sale in Paris brought in a total of €4,131,252 (~$4,770,000) on September 27. The sale’s top lot, Simon Hantaï’sUntitled (Double Sided)” (1973), sold for €465,000 (~$537,000).

Zao Wou-Ki, “Juin-Octobre” (1985), oil on canvas (triptych), 110 ¼ x 393 ¾ inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 1,109,363,500 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (~$141,549,000) on September 30. The sale’s top lot, Zao Wou-Ki’s painting “Juin-Octobre 1985” (1985), sold for 510,371,000 HKD (~$65,121,000).

Joan Mitchell, “Syrtis” (1961), oil on canvas, 51⅛ x 63¾ inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 455,593,000 HKD (~$58,131,000) on September 30. The sale’s top lot, Joan Mitchell’s painting “Syrtis” (1961), sold for 56,513,000 HKD (~$7,211,000).

Bada Shanren (Zhu Da), “Pine Tree and Rock” (1702), ink on paper, hanging scroll, 52 x 18 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Fine Classical Chinese Paintings sale in Hong Kong brought in a total of 39,001,250 HKD (~$4,976,000) on October 1. The sale’s top lot, Bada Shanren (Zhu Da)’sPine Tree and Rock” (1702), sold for 13,320,000 HKD (~$1,700,000).

Isaac Israels, “Two Javanese Ladies,” oil on canvas, 23 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art in Hong Kong brought in a total of 62,161,250 HKD (~$7,931,000) on October 1. The sale’s top lot, Isaac Israels’s “Two Javanese Ladies,” sold for 2,250,000 HKD (~$287,000).

Yayoi Kusama, “Pumpkin” (1989), acrylic and felt pen on canvas, 20¾ x 18⅛ in ches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art in Hong Kong brought in a total of 114,333,750 HKD (~$14,588,000) on October 1. The sale’s top lot, Yayoi Kusama’sPumpkin” (1989), sold for 5,400,000 HKD (~$689,000).

Chu Teh-Chun, “Frimas II” (1986), oil on canvas, 25 ⅝ x 36 ¼ inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Modern Asian art in Hong Kong brought in a total of 78,347,500 HKD (~$9,997,000) on October 1. The sale’s top lot, Chu Teh-Chun’sFrimas II” (1986), sold for 7,320,000 HKD (~$934,000).

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien), “Self Portrait With a Tibetan Mastiff,” annotation on painting and brocade cover by the owner of Chai Sian Kwan Collection, and with one seal of his splashed ink and color on gold paper, framed, 69 1/4 x 37 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Fine Chinese Paintings in Hong Kong brought in a total of 333,643,250 HKD (~$42,571,000) on October 2. The sale’s top lot, Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien)’sSelf-Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff,” sold for 49,739,000 HKD (~$6,346,000).

William MacLeod, “View of the City of Washington From the Ancostia Shore” (1856), oil on canvas, 37 x 53 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of American Art in New York brought in a total of $3,953,375 on October 2. The sale’s top lot, William MacLeod’sView of the City of Washington from the Anacostia Shore” (1856) sold for $312,500.

Francis W. de Winton, notes on pow-wows with Indians during an official tour of western Canada (1881) (image courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Swann Auction Galleries’ sale of Printed & Manuscript American was the highest earning Americana auction at the galleries in six years, bringing in a total of $1.2 million on September 27. The sale’s top lot, Francis W. de Winton’s diary, containing notes on pow-wows with Indians during an official tour of western Canada, sold for $65,000. [via email announcement]

Entrance of the Leslie-Lohman Museum (image via Wikimedia)

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has received a promised gift of $1 million from philanthropist and photographer Michael Becker. This is the largest gift in the museum’s history and will go towards the museum’s endowment as towards operations, exhibitions, and other programming. Becker donates to a number of charities that focus on LGBTQ rights, AIDS treatment, mental health, and educational and arts work.

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Deena ElGenaidi

Deena ElGenaidi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden in 2016, and her work has appeared in Longreads, Electric Literature,...